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ARM is announcing today a new microprocessor core that can bring fast performance to even the smallest of electronic devices.

The Cortex-M0 processor core is a 32-bit chip — meaning it can process data in 32-bit chunks and is just about as fast as some low-end computers. Yet it carries the price tag of lesser 8-bit chips and can operate on a very low amount of power.

The Cambridge, U.K.-based company makes microprocessor cores, the core building blocks of chips. It then licenses the cores to chip makers, who complete the designs by adding functional circuitry like wireless components, customizing the chip for a specific purpose. ARM-based chips are the No. 1 choice in cell phones and other gadgets where power efficiency is a must.

This new Cortex-M0 core is likely to be used in a wide range of wireless gadgets. It consumes as little as 85 microwatts and is very tiny. That means it can be built into things like medical devices, electronic meters, lighting, control systems, gaming accessories, compact power supplies, power and motor controls, smart sensors and small wireless systems.

Early licensees of the Cortex-M0 processor include NXP Semiconductors and mixed signal ASIC designer Triad Semiconductor.


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